Desperation drives Miss Harriet Ward to invent a fiancé, Captain John Frankenham, in hopes of saving her family from financial ruin. When the bank demands to meet the elusive captain, Harriet is frantic until she rescues a stranger whose amnesia solves her problem. She convinces him he is her captain.

Chase St. John left London to save his family from scandal. He knows who he is but plays along with the charade to see where the game goes. While becoming part of the large and loving Ward family, cynical Chase begins to understand the love, joy and sacrifice of being part of a family.

Filled with a large and endearing cast of characters, Hawkins' latest is charming. She captures the heart of family relations as well. Emotional depth would give this sweet tale greater breadth and more fully utilize Hawkins' ability to write a range of emotions. SENSUAL (Dec., 380 pp., $5.99)

Reviewed by: 
Kathe Robin